Hooray for finished construction, a successful move and Grand Opening!
Please join us Thursday, July 11th for our Grand Opening!
a. favorite design
4432 N Kedzie Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
Thursday, July 11th, 2019
3pm • Ribbon cutting with the Alderman and Chamber
3pm - 6pm • print demos, refreshments and a FREE letterpress card pack for the first 33 customers!
Shop! Print! Sip! Enjoy!
It's been a long time coming! We're excited to share our space with you. All are welcome.
Looking back a lot has happened to get us here. Starting with the launch of our Kickstarter in late July of 2018, which I'm embarrassed and disappointed to say there are a couple outstanding rewards. The hiccups keep coming but I swear all rewards will be delivered soon. Really.
I've learned a lot about construction, permits, moving and navigating an ill parent this last year. A lot. Perhaps my biggest lesson has been learning imperfection is not a problem to overcome or solve but part of being human and a designer. I plan to write more detailed posts about my experiences but for now, here's the overview.
Summer of 2018 was spent gathering estimates for equipment moving, electricians, general contractors, preparing for the holiday season, packing our space and launching our Kickstarter. I have never marketed so much in my life but it paid off. Thankfully, we were fully funded a day before the deadline.
Fall of 2018 was all hustle all the time. We moved our shop into our new location in September. While we had thought construction would be completed by then, it turns out it was barely started. In typical Chicago fashion there were multiple delays with permits. We made it through the holiday wholesale rush and still had our sites on opening our retail space in November, despite not being able to unpack since construction crews would need to work in the space. November came quick and the building was still without construction permits. Sigh... The week of Thanksgiving the permits were approved, finally! Much to my dismay the construction crews that were set to do the work had moved on to other projects. Which makes complete sense for them and their businesses but was extremely discouraging for our business and sanity. The waiting game continued. Meanwhile we were still working out of boxes, unable to make plates because we didn't have a sink or hot water and had to overcome the Chicago cold. We had space heaters everywhere. Heating three people and a 1600 share foot space with four space heaters isn't a viable solution, trust me. Not to mention, trying to print in Chicago when it's below 55° indoors, is nearly impossible. The ink isn't warm enough to distribute and after running the press for a while to try to heat it up the paper just adheres to the plate and the rollers reeking havoc on the plate, paper and press. It's messy, frustrating and a complete waste of time and resources.
ANYWAY. We were assured we'd have heat in December. December came and went. As did January and February and half of March. Finally in mid March we got heat, just when it started getting warmer outside. Our contractor finished installing lights at the end of May, in the nick of time for our V.I.P. party June 1st. We also got air conditioning on May 31st. Nearly a full day before we needed it. That's progress!
We made it through the long cold winter and construction. If we could just get the presses to run smoothly for more than a week, we'd be really set. Our space has just a couple small projects left but for the most part is complete and is looking warm and inviting. I'm excited to share it with our community! More soon.